Halfway Home: Breaking Down the First Ten '14 Commits

By Miles Joseph on June 18, 2013 at 2:00p

There are currently 10 players in Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class. When National Signing Day 2014 rolls around, the class will have around 20 members.

Webb is the top member of the 2014 class

You, fan of math, have realized that we're at the halfway point of this class, which has the makings of a top-10 class nationally if the next few months go according to plan.

Of the 10 future Buckeyes, four are expected to play on the offensive side of the ball when they arrive in Columbus:  WR Lonnie Johnson, OL Marcelys Jones, OL Kyle Trout, and WR/ATH Parris Campbell.

There are also four defenders the Buckeyes have in this class so far. Those four: DE Dylan Thompson, LB Kyle Berger, LB Dante Booker Jr., and CB Damon Webb.

Sam Hubbard, who plays linebacker for Cincinnati Moeller, could easily end up on the offensive or defensive side of the football when he arrives in Columbus next summer. He could slide into the tight end slot on offense or play defensive end, linebacker, safety, or Star if the Ohio State coaching staff decides playing defense is best for his career at Ohio State.

German born kicker/punter Sean Nuernberger is the lone specialist in the class. He'll be the only specialist in this class come signing day.

Join me after the jump to take an in-depth look at the first 10 commitments of Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class. 


WR Lonnie Johnson, Gary (IN) West Side 

Aside from Parris Campbell, wide receiver Lonnie Johnson has the highest ceiling of the ten commits in the class. He caught 31 passes for 777 yards and 13 touchdowns last year for his West Side team, while intercepting six passes and making 29 tackles on defense in 2012. 

Lonnie could be a good wide receiver or cornerback at the college level, but he's almost a lock to play wide receiver when he arrives in Columbus next summer. If Johnson performs well when he arrives on campus, he could be a candidate for early playing time because of his high ceiling. His 6-3/200 frame and his blazing speed could make him into an elite receiver for the Buckeyes.

OL Marcelys Jones, Cleveland (OH) Glenville

Marcelys Jones became the first member of the 2014 class on Christmas Day, 2012. He had a very good year starring on the offensive line for Glenville in 2012, rolling defensive linemen along the way. He is only only current commit who has left the door cracked on taking a serious look at other schools, but I think he'll end up sticking with the Bucks in the end.

I view Jones as a project, therefore I don't think he'll see early playing time. I think it would be for the best if he redshirted in 2014 so he could have more time to develop. Nevertheless, I think Jones will eventually be a solid starting guard by the time his time at OSU is over.

OL Kyle Trout, Lancaster (OH) 

Kyle Trout has the chance to be an elite offense tackle if he puts in the hard work under offensive line coach Ed Warinner. He was the third player to join the 2014 class back in January and has worked tirelessly recruiting other members of the class.

Hubbard can play all over the football field

I wouldn't be surprised if Trout got on the field early because four of Ohio State's starters along the offensive line are set to graduate after the 2013 season and there will be a lot of holes to fill next year.

ATH Parris Campbell, Akron (OH) St. Vincent St-Mary

Parris Campbell has the highest upside of any player in this class. When his senior football season starts, he will only be 16, and despite that, he'll be the most talented player on the field. He was one of the most electrifying players in the state of Ohio in 2012 and figures to have an even bigger 2013.

Don't just take my word for it. See for yourself.

There's a very reall chance that Campbell will line up in the slot and get a few carries his freshmen year. I think he is very similar to freshmen running back/wide receiver Dontre Wilson because they can play the Pivot in Urban Meyer's offense.


DE Dylan Thompson, Lombard (IL) Montini Catholic 

Thompson is the only pure defensive linemen in the class right now and he could end up being the only one in the class come National Signing Day. He was recently invited to Nike's "The Opening" where he'll have a chance to compete against some of the top offensive linemen in the country.

Ohio State has signed many talented defensive linemen the past couple of years, including Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Tyquan Lewis, Tracy Sprinkle and Joey Bosa. For this reason I think we could see Thompson redshirt and further develop his skills before getting on the field in 2015. It will be interesting to see what the Ohio State coaching staff decides to do with Thompson when he arrives on campus.

LB Kyle Berger, Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius

Berger had his breakout season in 2012 where he totaled 44 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. His performance earned him offers from top schools across the country including Ohio State and he is one of two linebackers currently committed to Ohio State in its '14 class.

It's no secret that the Buckeyes are pretty thin at the linebacker position and due to this, I don't think there's a chance Berger will see a redshirt in 2014. He will need to be ready to compete from the moment he arrives on campus as he could see some significant playing time from day one. He will be an outside linebacker at the college level.

LB Dante Booker Jr., Akron (OH) St. Vincent- St Mary

Booker is a very athletic linebacker, but needs to add more bulk to his frame. He could also play defensive end if help is needed on the defensive line, but I think he'll be a linebacker when it's all said and done. The St. Vincent-St. Mary star posted 72 tackles, six sacks, and two interceptions last year while leading his team to a state championship.

Like Kyle Berger, Booker will be expected to come into the Ohio State football program ready play because the Buckeyes are so thin at his position. I'm going to go out an a limb and predict that Booker will be a starter at some point in 2014 – he's just that talented. The Bucks are getting a good one in Booker.

CB Damon Webb, Detroit (MI) Cass Tech

At the beginning of Webb's recruitment he was thought to be a Michigan lean and boy were people wrong about that. Webb shocked almost everybody who follows recruiting by committing to Ohio State in January and since then, he and his family have worked overtime to add to the 2014 class.

He had a very strong junior season totaling 42 tackles, 10 pass breakups, seven interceptions, and four forced fumbles.

Webb is probably the most talented commit in Ohio State's class right now and will definitely have a chance to compete for playing time 2014. I think Webb will be a two or three year starter for the Buckeyes by the time his career at Ohio State comes to a close.


ATH Sam Hubbard, Cincinnati (OH) Moeller

A former college lacrosse commit to Notre Dame, Hubbard earned multiple offers to play college football after his junior season where he record 80 tackles, seven of which were for loss, two interceptions, and forced two fumbles. He could play multiple positions in college including tight end, defensive end, linebacker, safety, or Star.

It's tough to project a position for Hubbard in college, but I'm leaning towards tight end right now, especially if the Bucks are unable to sign a tight end in this class. There's still a very real chance he plays defensive in college which is why I can't definitively put him in either the offensive or defensive category.

K/P Sean Nuernberger, Buckner (KY) Oldham County

The German born Nuernberger committed to Ohio State about a week ago after a strong performance at Ohio State's kicking camp.

He'll be expected to start at kicker from day one and could also punt if needed.


Comments Show All Comments

RunEddieRun1983's picture

Overall, so far, not overly impressed with the run of commits we've had.  Obviously I know Urbs and co. aren't done, but with this being Ohio State you want to see some consensus top ten guys commit at some point.  McMillan is the guy they have to get to put this class over the top in my opinion.  Given the effort, and time they have put into his recruiting, the staff has to get him to make this class a top teir group of recruits.  Just my opinion.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

Triv's picture

In last years class, a class ranked 1, 2, 2, and 3 respectively across the 4 services, our highest ranked recruit was Vonn Bell, who was ranked just 27th by 247 composite (though Apple was I believe 9 on ESPN, he was around 30-40 on the other 3). I don't think you need consensus top 10 guys to have a strong class.
If you look at this year, we are actually in good shape to land 2 top 13 prospects in the 247 composite (Prince #11, McMillan #13) and a 3rd 5 star (Lattimore  #32). And with 6 of our current commits attending The Opening, they could see a ratings bump in the future as well. If we finish strong like Urban Meyer tends to do, this class could very well be better than last years (purely speaking in terms of rankings)

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

gumtape's picture

This is a joke and in no way represents my feelings towards this class.

High and tight boo boo

RunEddieRun1983's picture

I mean, it's just my opinion.  Doesn't mean they won't close out with some blockbuster players.  This class just doesn't add up (so far) to the classes you typically see from Urban Meyer.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

Triv's picture

I think that's because the recruiting game is changing over the years. The recruits are getting so much publicity nowadays that they want more and more, so many of the top guys are waiting it out and announcing at AA games or take all of their officials so they can be courted by the best coaches CFB has to offer. As we continue to give these kids celebrity status, I think you'll see more and more players committing closer to signing day rather than early on. 

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

OSU2002Grad's picture

Those 10 are solid. There shouldn't be any doubt about that. Just wondering how we're going to finish.

RunEddieRun1983's picture

Yeah, I should have prefaced with that.  These 10 are solid players, but where is the sizzle that we should be able to expect from a Urban Meyer recruiting class?  I'm being patient and waiting it out like everyone else, but at this point last year we weren't scratching our heads wondering what was going on with all this top tier talent going elsewhere.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

Hovenaut's picture

Nice look at where the Buckeyes are at recruiting, and a good time to look at with some high profile recruits recently committing elsewhere.

This is a solid group, and we should feel good about it where it will be come next February.

Buckeye06's picture

With the way this board has been lately, I'll be utterly shocked if OSU even uses all of its scholarships next year; no one wants to be a Buckeye

Buckeye06's picture

Haha the sarcasm meter is dead today I think

osubuck57's picture

This was never going to be a sizzle class, with the recruiting we needed this cycle.We got a lot of sizzle out of 2013 with Jalin, EZE, Dontre, etc. This class won't be sexy but very,very good based on needs. WE NEED about 4-6 O-linemen, 2-4 LB depending on how it falls and who changes positions when they get here. And the rest fill  out how it will. Urban has a proven track record with recruiting.Our class will be top 10 when all said and done. Supposed top tier guys are not gonna come here and ride the pine behind our young depth.Now if we start to have more attrition,or guys don't pan out or get into trouble, you might see more heavy hitters. But these kids today want to start and start early.


Ahh Saturday's picture

For the "where's the sizzle" crowd, I would point out that all the prospects in this class were early offers who's commitment was accepted.  If these were offers going out in November, I might be concerned, but our staff identified these guys early, liked what they saw, and reeled them in.
For the "trust the staff" crowd -to which I belong-- Nike's The Opening should give many of our young Buckeyes a chance to shine against top competition and prove to the recruiting services that they merit a higher ranking.  Maybe then everyone will be happy.

ColumbusBornAndRaised's picture

Not to knock on any of the current commits but I see most of them as being "Program Guys".  They cant all be 5 star once in a generation players.  I sense that high character was an emphasis in this class especially because a few of these guys will have to sit behind the studs of the 2012 and 2013 classes.  I'm happy to have them all and think they will make an impact in Columbus before their time is done. whether that be on the field, in the locker room, or in the WHAC during practice.

trock's picture

I don't think I would call Webb a program guy. He can flat out play.

ColumbusBornAndRaised's picture

"Most of them" being the key phrase in that post.  I agree, Webb is a straight baller.

sfgoody's picture

So of our 9 non kickers we have 6 consensus Top250 guys, and one of those who isn't, dylan thompson, looks like a straight up killer. We must have very different definitions of 'program guys'. I love how this class is coming together.


RBuck's picture

The German born Nuernberger committed to Ohio State about a week ago after a strong performance at Ohio State's kicking camp.

He'll be expected to start at kicker from day one and could also punt if needed.

I thought Basil was back for 1 more year.

Long live the southend.

Basso Profondo's picture

Yes, and Nuernberger will not be here until the season after this one.  He is a 2014 man.

RBuck's picture

Duh (me).

Long live the southend.

SilverBulletNYC's picture

What's that red helmet in the background of Dame Webb's picture?

The South will NOT rise again!

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

This class has some very good players.  I think we will add some elite players in the coming months to sure it up.  This class will end up as a Top 5 class IMO. 
Go Bucks!

unholy bucknut's picture

I'm not as high on this class as others in the past but its June and all of this is a moot point. And some of these kids are tearing it up in the camp circuit. Earning invites to even more elite camps, by performing the best at their positions. Urban and company are definitely proven to know what they're looking at in these high school kids. They see something that the snobs at ESPN don't. And im excited to see what that is in each and everyone of these kids.

DenBuck's picture

Doesn't the punter dude count in this class? 

Buckeye For Life

unholy bucknut's picture

He is coming in this year.

buckeyestu's picture

This may not end up as a "sexy" class, but i will bet it will be top 10 at the worst and quite possibly top 5, especially if one looks at the quality side of the rankings. I think the class ends up around 3.75 or a tad higher.